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Calistoga, Napa Valley Travel Guide

Calistoga Summary


  • Charming turn-of-the-century-style town
  • Easy to navigate on foot
  • Storied spa culture: built as one of the first wellness destinations in the country
  • Plentiful choices for dining and shopping
  • Downtown area less crowded than other towns in the Valley


  • On the northern end of Napa Valley, farthest from major airports
  • Hotels in older buildings can have smaller rooms
  • Less central location for visitors looking to tour the valley

What It's Like

Calistoga's name is said to come from a Freudian slip made by the town's founder while trying to describe it as the Saratoga of California: In many ways, they've succeeded in recreating the same quaint, relaxed vibe. The area is well known for its many natural hot springs and has been a wellness destination for visitors for over a century. The town was designed with pedestrians in mind and is easily navigated on foot. Of course, the town has also had the fortune of California's booming wine industry growing up in around it, and some of the best wineries in the country are within the city limits or just a few minutes' drive away.

Where to Stay

Calistoga is home to some of the older (but renovated) hotels in the area, most of which are located right along the main drag on Lincoln Ave. No matter where you stay, you'll be able to walk to most things in town and access other popular sites in the valley with a short car ride.

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